This is the definitive film, taken from the definitive book, about the sinking of RMS Titanic. As the "making of..." points out, Walter Lord researched the disaster for twenty years before publishing his book. As a result almost everything is correct.
I can only find two innaccuracies: As another reviewer points out, the ship does not break in this version, as the official report at the time took only Lightoller's account as fact. At the time the ship broke he was held underwater by the suction, only released from by the blast when the icy water reached the boilers. The only other inaccuracy is that the band did not play "Nearer my God to Thee". They were part way through "Autumn", which has a similar tune, when the ship lurched and they were thrown down the deck. The legend about the hymn is attributed to many sources and is probably due to the similarity of the two tunes and an unknown person singing the actual hymn.
The film does not rely on invented romances, family sagas, crime dramas and the other filler material that all the other versions I have seen rely on in an attempt to "engage" the audience. The filmmakers quite rightly believed that the actual story of the loss of the most technically advanced passenger ship in the world, with the loss of two thirds of it's passengers and crew, is dramatic enough without such nonsense. They cleverly use unidentified composite characters alongside the real people to show the points of view of all three classes aboard. This avoids the embarrassing name dropping that occurs in other versions, where the famous names of the day are forced into the action with contrived explanations of who they were for contemporary viewers. Guggenheim, The Strausses, and Molly Brown are all there, but are accurately depicted and are part of the overall story.
Not only is The Californian controversy is explored, but perhaps more importantly, the heroic achievement of the Carpathia and her crew is given due recognition. Built for a top speed of 14 knots, she made 17 on her race to assist the stricken liner, her engines shaking the whole ship with the effort.
The casting is amazing, just about everyone is a ringer for the actual person they depict. And the acting is faultless from all involved.
The manners and attitudes of the age are expertly captured, for example, some first class ladies did complain about men smoking in the lifeboats. This was because smoking was seen at the time as a pleasurable indulgence, and appeared to be a crass and disrespectful act to such ladies. The moment when the third class passengers burst into the deserted first class restaurant is heartbreaking as they gaze around at such luxury for the only time in their lives.
The effects in the film are, in my opinion, far more convincing than CGI effects, including a wonderful overhead shot of the ship steaming through the night. And the sinking itself is both amazing and awful to watch in it's stunning realism.
There is no need for invented incidents here, either, everything that happens is documented as fact.
It is good to see that one of the most remarkable characters in the event is depicted as well, the baker, Charles Joughin. Sorry to any Jack and Rose fans reading this, but Mr Joughin was the last person off the ship, actually standing on the upturned stern as it slid smoothly beneath the surface. His full story is told in the original book upon which this film is based, which I would also highly recommend to anyone interested in this subject.